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Govt ‘Not Considering Aragonite Applications’

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Kenred Dorsett

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

ENVIRONMENT Minister Kenred Dorsett said yesterday that his ministry is not considering any applications for aragonite mining in Andros at this time.

His statement came amid evidence that a company is pursuing ways to engage in the activity.

The Tribune understands that a private company has had meetings with residents on the island about the matter this month.

Aragonite mining is typically a hotbed issue for some Bahamians who don’t believe the government is doing enough to cultivate the industry or to make money from it.

Mr Dorsett, speaking to reporters before a Cabinet meeting, said yesterday: “Either last week or the week before residents of Andros brought to my attention a memo or a notice being circulated by a private group who was meeting with the people of Andros for what they describe was a proposed mining activity.

“There is nothing that is before the Ministry of Environment in relation to that undertaking and certainly from our perspective it is not something that is going to be taken very lightly. The Bahamas National Trust has already been in communication with me and local administrators have attended those meetings and I have a briefing on what was said, but Andros is a very, very special island. When it comes to mining activities throughout the Commonwealth of the Bahamas as you may know the commonwealth secretariat is about to be completing a comprehensive regime for the entire extractive industries within our country and they’ll be here next month to complete that exercise but there’s nothing before my ministry in relation to what was being discussed in North Andros and certainly from my perspective we have to look at any proposed mining activities to be taken very seriously in Andros where that island is unspoiled and is important so much to the biodiversity not only in the Bahamas but even to the Americans.”

Mr Dorsett said the company pursuing the matter “seemed to be a family owned company” although he did not elaborate on this.

“There’s no formal proposal before me to comment on who is behind it,” he said.

“From my perspective if there is a development activity that may require some dredging or mining it will go through the normal recourse of going through environmental impact (studies) and how it would be managed, but outright mining in Andros is not something that I certainly think will be considered favourably by this administration.”

Mr Dorsett’s comments came after some people speculated on social media that the government was considering a “70-year mining deal in North Andros.”

A flyer seen by The Tribune advertising a proposal for a mining business was attributed to Morgan’s Bluff Development Limited.

“This project will be a wonderful catalyst for economic growth and opportunity within the communities of North Andros,” they flyer said.

The meetings about the matter were held on August 18 and 19.

Comments

Publius 5 years, 2 months ago

ENVIRONMENT Minister Kenred Dorsett said yesterday that his ministry is not considering any applications for aragonite mining in Andros at this time.

Considering the person who is making this statement and his antecedents, let's ask the question again about aragonite mining in The Bahamas.

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SP 5 years, 2 months ago

............... Kenred Dorsett Playing Haitian Deceptive Smoke & Mirrors Games ................

Firstly, the Andros mining proposal is not about aragonite, it is about mining calcium carbonate (limestone) in an area that would effectively destroy the largest fresh water lens in the Bahamas.

Secondly, lying Dorsett is playing Haitian again, and being totally disingenuous. He knows as well as everyone else which two main Bahamian families are behind this Andros mining proposal, and every other mining operation in Bahamas. As these people have carried on the "family business" since their parents spearheaded aragonite and limestone mining more than 60 years ago as leaders of the UBP!

Corruption is alive and thriving in Bahamas as successive government administrations had to have been paid off handsomely to allow these few people to selfishly rape the countries natural resources for personal gain.

True Bahamian "owners" of these natural resources were intensionally made ignorant to the wealth of the country while a handful of greedy individuals and their corrupt political puppets made Billions of dollars.

The many varied industrial, medicinal and pharmaceutical uses of calcium carbonate (limestone) is beyond staggering.

In different manufacturing industries, calcium carbonate is an ingredient utilized as filler in paper, paint, sealants and coatings. Calcium carbonate (limestone) also has many applications in agriculture and the food industry.

Some agricultural uses of this substance are as animal feed and agricultural lime for soil. Many foods and cooking products, such as baking powder, dough and dry mixes also contain calcium carbonate. It is also an ingredient in toothpaste.

Another use of calcium carbonate is in medicine, where its applications include as a supplement to treat calcium deficiencies and an antacid for heartburn and indigestion. As an antacid, calcium carbonate is available in different forms, such as chewable tablets, liquids and capsules.

Brazil's vast inland cerrado region was regarded as unfit for farming before the 1960s because the soil was too acidic and poor in nutrients. However, from the 1960s, vast quantities of lime (pulverized limestone) were poured on the soil to reduce acidity. The effort went on and in the late 1990s between 14 million and 16 million tonnes of lime were being spread on Brazilian fields each year. The quantity rose to 25 million tonnes in 2003 and 2004, equalling around five tonnes of lime per hectare. As a result, Brazil has become the world's second biggest soybean exporter and, thanks to the boom in animal feed production, Brazil is now the biggest exporter of beef and poultry in the world!

What right does a handful of greedy Bahamian families have to lay exclusive claim to, and hog up all the countries wealth?

What kind of government sells out the peoples birthright?

Something stinks in the halls of Parliament!

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